As we know the world is responding to a pandemic of respiratory disease spreading from person-to-person caused by the coronavirus (COVD-19). This situation poses a serious public health risk and we send our love and well wishes to you all. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this situation.
For Illinois residents, this past weekend Governor Pritzker announced a statewide order for Illinois residents to stay at home beginning Saturday, March 21 at 5pm. Unless traveling for essential needs everyone is ordered to stay at home. Most businesses are shutting down and enabling workers to work remotely from home. Businesses are allowed to maintain minimum basic activities to preserve inventory, maintain their location, process payroll and benefits, and maintain security. Furthermore, please note, there are a numbers of businesses that are considered essential operations that can continue operating, including but not limited to the following:
Convenience stores, grocery stores, and food banks
Transportation services including Uber and CTA
Laundromats & laundry services
Other important infrastructure such as utilities
Mayor Lightfoot has also announced a relief package to help support businesses in this time of need and a suspension of debt collection, ticketing, and towing practices until April 30, 2020. This includes a $100 million loan fun to support small businesses affected by COVID-19. We commend Mayor Lightfoot for these efforts as we wait federal support which we believe is desperately needed. The following measures are included in Mayor Lightfoot’s Relief Package
The City is also extending due dates for tax payments until April 30, 2020 for the following City taxes:
Bottled Water tax
Checkout Bag tax
Hotel Accommodation tax
Illinois small businesses can apply for loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Injury Loan Program. These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable and fixed debt payments until the situation improves. Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Business owners can apply for a loan now at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
The Illinois District of the SBA is hosting twice daily webinars on the Economic Injury Disaster Loans starting Thursday, March 18. You can find details and register for these training events at www.sba.gov/il.
More than ever if it important that we unite as one human race and support each other during this difficult period. Below are a few causes that we will be supporting and encourage you to support. Let’s do our part in helping provide resources to some of those hit the hardest by this pandemic.
Support displaced restaurant, bar, hotel and hospitality industry staff
The Collage GAP (Graduation Assistance Program) was established to help undergraduate students pay their small unpaid bills which prevent students from graduating each year
If you are a philanthropic institution or a corporation interested in contributing to Chicago’s relief fund, please submit your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
By working together, we will get through this. Stay strong, stay home, and stay healthy. We will see you soon and we have amazing things in store for our patrons and supporters once we are back up and running.
Pyramid Solutions & Marketing, Inc.